Higher stamp duty land tax - consultation

HMRC has set up a consultation on the higher rates of stamp duty land tax (SDLT) and seeks views from individuals, companies, legal professionals and professional bodies in key areas of its design. 

It highlights how the additional SDLT charge of 3% is likely to apply to those purchasing a non-replacement main residence from 1 April.

It includes a number of purchasing scenarios, guidance on application and information on the new 14-day reporting regime. For example, it states that:

'Individuals will not be able to elect which of their residences is their main residence and therefore the treatment of a main residence for the purposes of the higher rates of SDLT may differ from the treatment for capital gains tax.'

The guidance on joint ownership states:

'B and C are purchasing a property together. This will be B’s first property, but C owns another property that she is not selling.

For C, this will be an additional property as, at the end of the day of the transaction, she will own two properties and is not replacing a main residence.

Therefore, the higher rates of SDLT will apply.'

The consultation will run until 1 February 2016 and it will be announced on 16 March 2016.

The higher rates will apply from 1 April 2016.

Scheme proposed design

The higher rates (3% above the current SDLT) will only apply to additional residential properties purchased in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on or after 1 April 2016. 


Existing residential SDLT ratesNew additional property SDLT rates
Up to £125K0%3%
£125k - £250k2%5%
£250k - £925k5%8%
£925k - £1.5m10%13%
Over £1.5m12%15%


An additional residential property is purchased for £200,000. SDLT is calculated as follows:

  • basic charge is 2% on the amount above £125,000, ie  2%x (£200,000-£125,000) = £1,500
  • additional charge 3% on the whole purchase price, ie  £200,000 =£6,000
  • total charge £7,500


There are currently four exemptions:

  • Replacing a main residence or if the purchaser has sold a previous main residence within 18 months before the day of a purchase of a new main residence
  • Transaction under £40,000. Also, residential properties worth less than £40,000 will not be taken into account when determining if an additional residential property is being purchased.
  • Non-residential property, even if it is later converted into residential property
  • Bulk purchase of at least 15 residential properties.


Where an individual has purchased a new main residence but not yet sold a previous main residence, they will pay the higher rates. 

However, if within 18 months of purchasing the new main residence they then sell their old main residence, they will be entitled to a refund on the higher rates paid.

Married couples and civil partners

The government will treat married couples and civil partners living together as one unit.

This means that married couples and civil partners may own one main residence between them at any one time for the purposes of the higher rates.

Joint purchasers

If any of the purchasers in a transaction are purchasing an additional residential property and not replacing a main residence, the higher rates should apply to the whole transaction value.

If any of the joint purchasers has two or more properties and is not replacing a main residence, the higher rates will apply when purchasing another property.


Partnerships are generally treated for SDLT as if the partners are joint purchasers of partnership property.


If a parent gives money towards a deposit and jointly owns the property with their child, the higher rates will apply.

However, the 3% SDLT supplement will not apply if the parent acts as a guarantor.

Inherited properties

No SDLT currently applies on inherited properties.

However, inherited property will be relevant when determining if a purchaser is purchasing an additional residential property.

First purchase of a residential property by a company

In order to prevent an individual buying an additional property via a company, the first purchase of a residential property by a company or collective investment vehicle is subject to the higher rates of SDLT.

Get involved

Responses to the consultation should be sent either by post to:
SDLT Additional Properties Consultation
Enterprise and Property Tax Team
HM Treasury
1 Horse Guards Road
or email: sdltadditionalproperties@hmtreasury.gsi.gov.uk